LAMB ON MOUNT ZION, PART 7
I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of
Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And
another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on
the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to
reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So He who sat on the cloud thrust
in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. Revelation 14:14–16
Chapter 14 Up To This Point
first thing we see is a Lamb standing on Mount Zion with a crowd of 144,000
standing with Him. We remarked that this reflects the same happenings as the
opening of the sixth seal in chapter 7. And from our study of that chapter we
learned that the historical point in time was approximately 1800 A.D. and the
event was what has been called the Primitive Church Movement.
Movement had several separate groups to whom God revealed the principle of the
biblical church as built by Jesus Christ. They saw two vital points about the
biblical church: The church is not a manmade institution; it is the result of
the experience of salvation; and, the church is the body of Christ and people
are added to the one church by the Holy Spirit. Sadly, as these different groups
saw the truth of the one biblical church they never united on that principle and
they either ceased to exist or they made themselves into quasi-denominations.
the fruit of that Movement was the restoration of the teaching of the biblical
church that attracted multitudes of people causing them to leave their
denominations to be nothing other than the biblical church.
though the Movement got off to a tentative start, the principle of the truth was
powerful and actually outlived the Movement. The principle of the truth about
the church as built by Christ prompts the messages of the three angels in verses
8–11. The everlasting gospel; Babylon is fallen; and the wrath of God upon
those that choose fallen Babylon and reject the everlasting gospel. Those
messages are profound and they are still to be preached today.
Effect of the Lamb and the 144,000
the 144,000 stood with the Lamb at the opening of the sixth seal and as we see
here in chapter 14, there was an effect that followed their original stand. As
people heard the preaching of the three angels, they responded and according to
verse 13, they died in the Lord—they died to sin and self and followed Christ
in holiness. This brings about a movement that comes into being after the
cessation of that original Primitive Church Movement.
looks and sees “a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man,
having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.” After John
had heard the voice of God from heaven and recorded what He said, John now looks
and sees a white cloud with someone sitting on the cloud that looks like the Son
of man. Before seeing the three angels and hearing their messages, John had been
looking at the Lamb on Mount Zion with the 144,000. After being distracted by
the voice from heaven, John now looks back at the Lamb on Mount Zion to find He
has taken on a different appearance. The Lamb now looks like a white cloud with
the Son of man sitting on it. He has a crown on His head and He has a sharp
sickle in His hand.
crown on His head and the sickle in His hand evoke the scene of Revelation 6:2,
the rider of the white horse. He was given a crown and He carried a bow in His
hand. We learned that this rider of the white horse is Jesus Christ as the head
of His church in the beginning of the gospel dispensation. He now appears
following the vision of the Lamb on Mount Zion as the head of His church in the
last era of the history of the church.
appearance of the cloud and the Son of man is a direct reference to the prophecy
of Jesus on Mount Olivet just before He went to the cross as recorded in Mark
in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon
will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the
heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds
with great power and glory. And then He will send His angels, and gather
together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the
farthest part of heaven.
here catch a vision of Christ returning to the spiritual heavens, the realm of
the Christian Church, with a cloud of witnesses who understand and are dedicated
to the message of the everlasting gospel. These are people that follow Christ,
live holy lives, and are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do a work that has not
been done since the days of the Early Church. The crown Christ wears is symbolic
of His authority in the kingdom of God. The sickle He holds is symbolic of the
prophecy of the sun darkening, stars falling and the description found here in
Revelation 14 bear a remarkable similarity to the prophecy in Joel 3:13–17.
in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; for the winepress is
full, the vats overflow—for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes
in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of
decision. The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their
brightness. The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from
Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; But the LORD will be a shelter for
His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So you shall know that I
am the LORD your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be
holy, and no aliens shall ever pass through her again.
calls this period in church history the day of the LORD; the angel coming out of
the temple in Revelation 14:15 calls it the harvest of the earth and just above
this in verse 7, the angel with the everlasting gospel calls it the hour of His
tells us the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. In this
prophetic time of the reaping of the earth, the Christian world is cast into the
valley of decision having to choose between their churches and the body of
Christ, the biblical church of God, with its everlasting gospel. The sun, moon
and stars darkening show that God removes His light from the ministry and
teachings of spiritual Babylon. Jesus Christ takes His rightful place as the
Lamb on Mount Zion, now symbolized as the Son of Man sitting on a cloud, and He
speaks to the religious world through His church.
says Christ’s voice shakes the heavens; the heavens here representing saved
people in Babylon. Their names are in the Lamb’s book of life but their names
are also written on the rolls of earthly churches. These precious souls hear the
voice of Christ and many are shaken out of the churches of men to flee to Mount
Zion where they find hope in the everlasting gospel and learn that indeed they
can live holy lives in the presence of God. Joel says His voice also shakes the
earth; the earth here representing the religions of men. The people that trust
in false gospels are shaken and are made to realize they are not part of the
kingdom of God.
Christ appears in the spiritual heavens of the church, another angel comes out
of the temple. The temple symbolizes the collective lives of the people that
respond to the everlasting gospel, leave Babylon, and follow the Lamb wherever
He goes. We know this because of what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians
you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in
you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple
of God is holy, which temple you are.
tells the church at Corinth that they, individually and collectively, are the
temple of God because the Spirit of God lives in them. When believers are saved
as individuals, they are immediately inducted into the collective existence of
the church, the body of Christ as explained in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. In this
passage it is seen that God’s people do not exist individually apart from the
rest of the temple; they are part of the body and every action of theirs affects
the entire temple. God’s people are to live holy lives as individuals so that
the entire temple will be holy. Paul also wrote about this temple in 2
what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the
living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will
be their God, and they shall be My people.”
again believers are called the temple of the living God. God sees the temple as
a collective and unified body for He says “I will dwell in THEM, and walk in THEM.”
The collective pronoun, them, identifies one entity, the one temple, consisting
of an indefinite number persons.
again mentions the collective nature of the temple and stresses its comparison
to a building that is built according to the plan designed to be a holy
habitation of God. Ephesians 2:19–22,
therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with
the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief
corner stone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a
holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a
dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
writer of Hebrews ties all the symbolism of the temple, Mount Zion, and other
facts, to the church Jesus builds by means of the new birth. Hebrews 12:22–23,
you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly
Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the
Judge of all, to the spirits of just men
people’s names are added to the book of life in heaven when they are born
again, they are immediately added to the church of the firstborn. Their names do
not have to be registered in the ledgers of manmade churches. The writer says
that these are just men [Greek: dik-ah-yos,
meaning innocent, holy] made perfect [Greek: tel-i-o-ō, meaning complete]. We might say they are saved,
sanctified and living the holy lives God intends for them.
Follows the Primitive Church Movement
Revelation 14:15 we see another angel coming out of the temple. This angel
notices that the Son of Man holds a sickle in His hand, so he cries out with a
loud voice, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to
reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” This reaping of the earth takes
place some time after the revelation of the Lamb on Mount Zion in verse 1. If
the Lamb on Mount Zion is revealed around 1800, this part of the vision takes
place some time later.
messages of the three angels now have reached God’s people in Babylon. Now
that they understand the everlasting gospel and want to be holy both in a
personal sense and in a public sense as symbolized by the temple, they must hear
a consolidate message on the church so they can physically come to it. The
Primitive Church Movement presented the theory of the one biblical church as
built by Jesus but it never did come together to be that one church. But now,
closer to the end of the 19th century, God’s people are ready to come
together; the time is right and an angel—or ministry—comes out into the
open. This ministry does not try to start a new church and call it the church of
God; it comes out on the biblical truth of the church as originated by the Son
of Man, Jesus Christ. This ministry asks the Son of Man to reap the earth,
meaning to harvest God’s people out of sectarianism and false churches and
a ministry raises up to express the burden of this great body of Christ. This
ministry knows the time is right and they are at a point in history ordained by
the will of God. Daniel S. Warner
wrote in his diary for March 7, 1878:
the 31st day of last January the Lord showed me that holiness could never
prosper upon sectarian soil encumbered by human creeds and party names, and he
gave me a new commission to join holiness and all truth together and build up
the apostolic church of the living God. Praise His name! I will obey him.
Son of Man was moved by the hearts of a sincere ministry such as represented by
Warner. He was not the only one with this burden as there were hundreds of
others whose names are unknown to history that held the same burden.
Nevertheless, the Son of man responded to this deeply felt cry of the saints of
God and, as recorded in verse 16, “He who sat on the cloud thrust in His
sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.”
of God Reformation Movement
leads us to the Church of God Reformation Movement that began around 1880.
Daniel Warner was a missionary, evangelist, and editor of the holiness paper
called The Gospel Trumpet. He lived
from 1842 to 1895. While he played a major role in the movement that has been
called the Church of God Reformation Movement, he was not the only one, or the
first one, to receive such a call as he described in his journal.
early reformers did not see themselves as another church movement; they saw the
biblical truth of the church as did the people of the Primitive Church Movement
and just wanted to be the biblical church free from all sects and divisions. The
major difference between this movement and the Primitive Church Movement was
that it was not the least bit sectarian and exclusive.
it did set up a publishing house and a central camp meeting location in Grand
Junction, MI, they never gave it the authority or prominence of a headquarters
or ruling agency over the movement.
never intended to establish a new church; their intention was to be just the
church. In being the church they never saw themselves as excluding people that
were genuinely saved; they accepted other saved people as spiritually part of
the biblical church even if they did not attend any of the few congregations
that came into being at that time.
used the Church of God Reformation Movement to do a mighty work. Not
only did they preach salvation from all sin and holiness of life, they also
preached the necessity of Christian unity in the one body of Christ, the church
of the living God. Their preaching shook the walls of sectarianism and through
the publication of The Gospel Trumpet, countless revivals and camp meetings, and
intense personal work their message traveled around the entire world in about
twenty years. The result of their work, this reaping of the earth by Christ, was
that sinners were saved out of lives of deep sin to become holy saints of God.
Multitudes of people who were truly saved or who had mere professions of faith
were called out of spiritual Babylon to Mount Zion to follow the Lamb
“wherever he goes.”
chapter fourteen depicts a prophetic time in the plan of God. After centuries of
spiritual darkness and a gradual awakening to the everlasting gospel, the full
light of the everlasting gospel came back during the Sixth Seal and this vision
of the Lamb on Mount Zion with the 144,000 following him wherever he goes.
keep in mind, regardless of what followed this moving of God in history, this
was a special time of God’s work in history. Also, it was not limited to a
movement in North America; it took place around the world and in some
environments that were totally unaware of the movement in North America.
was neither Daniel S. Warner nor the Church of God Reformation Movement that
were the specific objects of the prophecy of the Book of Revelation, it was the
fact that God did indeed bring back the truth and the understanding of the
everlasting gospel along with the understanding of the place and nature of the
biblical church that had been lost since the early days of Christianity.
marvelous as was this reaping of the earth by the Son of Man, it does not end
the story of Revelation chapter 14. There is more. Reforms in the history of the
church came and went and so it was with this reaping of the earth. Eventually it
became necessary for another angel to come out of the temple also having a sharp
sickle; but instead of another reaping we see only the gathering of clusters of
the vine of the earth.
Byers, Andrew, Birth of a Reformation, Faith
Publishing House: Guthrie, OK, pg